Category: Ancient Cilvilizations and Giants

Archaeological Discovery: 2,800-Year-Old Face, Possibly of Biblical King, Found in Israel

A small carved sculpture discovered in the ancient city of Abel Beth Maacah in northern Israel, and dating back over 2,800 years, could be a depiction of a biblical king, according to archaeologists.

Robert Mullins, a professor at Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, who is co-director of excavations in the ancient city, said last week that the sculpture was found last summer in a large building at the highest point of the city.

The figure, only 2 by 2.2 inches in size and carved in a type of glazed ceramic, depicts a man with long black hair and a beard, wearing a yellow and black headband.

The head was originally attached to a figurine that would have stood 8-10 inches in height.

“Despite the head’s small and innocuous appearance, it provides us with a unique opportunity to gaze into the eyes of a famous person from the past; a past enshrined in the Book of Ages,” said Mullins.

“Given that the head was found in a city that sat on the border of three different ancient kingdoms, we do not know whether it depicts the likes of King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram-Damascus, or King Ethbaal of Tyre, rulers known from the Bible and other sources. The head represents a royal enigma.”

All three of the figures mentioned by Mullins are found in the Bible.

King Ahab is said to have been the husband of the infamous Jezebel, who worshiped the pagan god Baal, with 1 Kings 16:30 explaining that he “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.”

King Hazael is mentioned in 1 Kings 19:15, with God telling the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Aram Damascus.

King Ethbaal is found in 1 Kings 16:31, where he is referred to as the father of Jezebel.

Azusa Pacific University, which is an evangelical Christian university, pointed out that Abel Beth Maacah is itself mentioned on several occasions in the Hebrew Bible, and has been the site of a number of notable discoveries.

Mullins and his research team have been excavating the remains of what could be an ancient citadel dating back to the time of the Israelite kings, with the rooms containing evidence of metallurgical activity, as well as Phoenician storage vessels.

Separately, technological innovations have been aiding archaeologists in their study of evidence dating back to various biblical kings.

In June 2017, high-tech imaging allowed Tel Aviv University researchers to read for the first time the inscription on the back of an ancient pottery shard that was discovered back in 1965, but had been unreadable until then.

The shard has been dated back to 600 B.C., before the destruction of Judah’s Kingdom by the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most important characters in the Book of Daniel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9236

Rare Jewish Coins Found in Temple Mount Excavation

By JNS May 22, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“A beka a head, half a shekel by the sanctuary weight, for each one who was entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, 603,550 men.” Exodus 38:26 (The Israel Bible™)

A man displays ancient coins in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90)

Five exceptionally rare ancient coins from among the very first ever minted by Jews were discovered on the Temple Mount, evidence of Jewish activity at the disputed site.

The small coins – three in pristine condition and two showing signs of wear – were discovered as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an archaeological initiative started in order to sift thousands of tons of dirt illegally excavated and dumped in the Kidron Valley by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. The Waqf excavations compromised the archaeological integrity of the Temple Mount and sparked outrage in Israel, leading many to suggest that the Waqf was intentionally attempting to eradicate evidence of two Jewish Temples which stood on the Mount for over 800 years.

The sifting project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount.

The newly-discovered coins bear the letters “YHD,” or Yehud, the Aramaic name for the biblical kingdom of Judea, and are dated to the end of the 4th century BCE.

According to one of the co-directors of the project, Zachi Dvira, only five other coins of this kind have been found in the 150 years of archaeological digging in ancient Jerusalem sites.

Dvira noted that Jewish pilgrims would bring offerings of first fruits of the season to the Temple around the time of the Shavuot holiday, and would often convert their value to silver in the days of the Second Temple.

He also noted that the Temple was a center of commerce and public administration, making it a prime site for finding coins.

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,” Dvira said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news. “They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia—similar to our relations with the United States today.”

He noted that the New Israeli Shekel also bears the letters YHD, exactly as they appear on the newly unearthed coins.

Though state funding for the project halted in 2017, the Temple Mount Sifting Project is now aiming to bring mobile sifting units of Temple Mount dirt to Israeli schools and communities, enabling children to learn about Jewish history in Jerusalem and to participate in the sifting themselves.

More than half a million artifacts have been pulled from the rubble so far by over 200,000 participants, including 6,000 ancient coins.

In May 2017, UNESCO adopted a resolution denying Jewish connection to Jerusalem. In October 2016, the international body said the Jewish people have no ties to the Temple Mount

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9195

Mysterious Siberian Humanoid Statue is Older Than the Pyramids

Brett Tingley April 27, 2018

Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that Siberia was once the home of a possibly highly developed Ice Age civilization. Relics ranging from massive unexplained megaliths to mysterious walled structures have been found, suggesting that these people were capable of significant architectural feats. While it has been known that there were tribes of people living in this area during the Ice and Stone ages, these new discoveries suggest that these civilizations were more advanced than previously thought. Now, a new analysis of a creepy humanoid statue found in the Ural mountains has been dated to even before the pyramids. Is there a lost chapter of human history waiting to be unearthed in Eurasia and Siberia?

Possibly, if a recent analysis published in Antiquity is confirmed. The study examines the Shigir Idol, believed to be the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world. The statue was discovered in fragments beginning in the 19th century in an open-air gold mine which contained other ancient artifacts. Several studies have dated the statue to be around 9,000 years old, but this latest study claims that age is more likely 11,600 years old – twice as old as the pyramids.

The purpose and meaning of the idol remain shrouded in mystery, but it does bear resemblance to other Ice Age art found near Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe, believed to be the oldest known temple in the world. The authors of this recent study write that the statue “may reflect encoded mythologies” and could provide a glimpse into the folklore and beliefs of early civilizations indigenous to this part of the world:

The vertical placement of the faces could indicate the presence of an internal hierarchy among the images, or a sequence of events. Above all, however, the Shigir sculpture is unique within the early art of Eurasia and offers the potential for a better understanding of the spiritual world of early hunter-gatherer-fishers of the forest zone of Eurasia.

Pre-industrial human civilizations had only natural materials at their disposal, meaning the ravages of time have likely rendered into dust all evidence of these early civilization. Will we ever truly understand our own species’ early history?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9166

New Archaeological Find is Helping Settle Academic Dispute Over Historical King David

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 30, 2018 , 3:45 pm

“But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Yishai, A twig shall sprout from his stock.” Isaiah 11:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Archaeologists, aided by burrowing mole rats, discovered a large building in the valley below the hills of Hebron attributed to the kingdom of Biblical King David. The discovery is a milestone in the ongoing debate over the veracity of Biblical King David as a historical figure with most archaeologists now looking to the Bible as having a factual basis.

“Until 25 years ago no one doubted that King David was a historical figure,”  Professor Avraham Faust, director of the archaeological dig, told Breaking Israel News. “In the last 25 years or so, however, David’s historicity, and especially the size of his kingdom, are hotly debated“.

“The new discovery at Tel ‘Eton, located in the Judean Shephelah to the east of the Hebron hills, seems to suggest that the highland kingdom controlled larger areas than some scholars believe”, Faust added.

The dig, led by  Professor Faust of Bar-Ilan University, is at Tel Eton, in the valley near the Hebron hills. The city that once stood at the site has been identified by scholars as Eglon, a city which, according to the Bible, fought against the Israelites as part of the five Amorite kings coalition and was later listed as part of the tribe of Judah.

This was the portion of the tribe of the Judites by their clans…Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon. Joshua 15:20,39

The discovery has become part of an ongoing dispute among archaeologists about whether King David actually existed as a real historical figure or whether he was just a mythological figure existing only in the pages of the Bible.. The finds from Tel ‘Eton, recently published by Faust and Yair Sapir in the journal Radiocarbon, led the authors to claim that the city was once part of David’s kingdom.  The structure was dated to the 10th century – the time in which King David was supposed to have ruled according to the Bible – on the basis of radiocarbon dates of samples from the floor make-up and from the foundation deposit. After describing the building and the reasons that led them to date it to the 10th century BCE, Faust and Sapir wrote:

“This has bearings on the date in which social complexity evolved in Judah, on the debate regarding the historicity of the kingdom of David and Solomon.”

Dr. Faust explained how they came to this remarkable conclusion.

“We, of course, did not find any artifacts that said ‘King David’ or King Solomon’ but we discovered at the site signs of a social transformation the region underwent, including the construction of a large edifice in a plan known to archaeologists as ‘the four-room house’ which is common in Israel but is rare to non-existent elsewhere. This seems to indicate that the inspiration or cause for the transformations are to be sought in the highland. The association with David is not based on any archaeological evidence but on circumstantial grounds only. Since the source of the change seems to be in the highlands, and since it took place at the time when David was supposed to have existed, the link is plausible,” Professor Faust told Breaking Israel News. “Moreover, the changes are consistent with larger regional changes, all connected with the highlands, and all taking place at a time the Kingdom of David was supposed to have to spread into this region”.

“The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery, and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom,” Professor Faust added.

“The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery, and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom”.

This connection between the Bible and archaeology made by Professor Faust can be problematic, as Dr. Eilat Mazar, a prominent Israeli archaeologist, explained.

“Archaeology does not begin with a belief and the Bible and then a search for proof,” Dr. Mazar told Breaking Israel News. “We first find evidence and then try to understand the truth behind the evidence.”

For the most part, evidence of Biblical events is lacking, Dr. Mazar noted.

“Even with what is written about David, one of the more prominent figures in the Bible, there are very few events that would leave evidence we could find archaeological proof of today.”

Nonetheless, Dr. Mazar uses the Bible as a resource to guide her work. This has set her at odds with many other Israeli archaeologists who reject the validity of this technique.

“We can use the Bible as a source to guide our search, but we cannot use the Bible as proof,” Dr. Mazar said. “But conclusions are drawn after a very long and thorough process of proof. After proving the connection using archaeological methods, the Biblical connection can now be brought.”

Her methods speak for themselves as Dr. Mazar is credited with many major finds.

AnaRina Heymann, director of Jerusalem Watch and the outreach coordinator for the City of David, frequently encounters skeptics who question the historical validity of King David.

“Until 1993, there was no way we could prove that King David existed,” Heymann told Breaking Israel News. “That was when archaeologists discovered the Tel Dan Stele.”

The Tel Dan Stele referencing King David. (Israel Museum/Wikimedia Commons/Oren Rozen)

The Tel Dan Stele, currently on display in the Israel Museum, is a broken stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993 during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel. It consists of several fragments making up part of a triumphal inscription in Aramaic, left most probably by Hazael of Aram-Damascus, an important regional figure in the late 9th century BCE. The inscription boasts of victories over the king of Israel and his ally the king of the “House of David”. It is considered to be the earliest accepted reference to the name David as the founder of the Kingdom of Judah.

“The Tel Dan Stele absolutely one hundred percent proves that King David existed,” Heymann said. “It refutes any claim that King David was merely a story.”

If verified, Tel Eton will be the second major archaeological site attributed to King David. In 2007,  Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University found a large military fortress at Khirbet Qeiyafa approximately 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. He eventually dated the fortress to the early 10th century BCE when King David is thought to have ruled over Israel concurrent with the structure at Tel Eton.

Professor Faust noted that the site at Tel Eton indicates a level of social complexity, indicating the society at the time was complex politically. The archaeological site covers 15 acres, making it the third largest in the Judean region behind Jerusalem and Lachish. When Professor Faust’s group first began excavations, they discovered fortifications, suggesting the regional importance of the site. Most of the buildings at the dig were from the 8th century BCE, several hundred years later than the period of King David. But further studies suggested the site had a much more ancient history.

The archaeologists recently announced the discovery of a new structure at the top of the tel (an artificial mound formed from the accumulated remains of civilizations that existed on the same site for hundreds or thousands of years) that was notably well-constructed, suggesting its role as a regional administrative center.

“The building was nicely executed, including ashlar stones in the corners and openings,” Faust said in Popular Archaeology. “Hundreds of artifacts were unearthed within the debris, including a wide range of pottery vessels, loom weights, many metal objects, botanical remains, as well as many arrowheads, evidence of the battle which accompanied the conquest of the site by the Assyrians.”

Researchers believe the city was destroyed by King Sennacherib and the Assyrians in 701 BCE.

The ashlar stones, finely cut and squared-off masonry, were the earliest examples of such masonry found in Judah. The structure was built on a deep foundation, indicating a high level of sophistication.

While exploring the foundations of the structure, the archaeologists discovered a pottery bowl which they believed was an offering to God as a supplication for protection of the building, something archaeologists have encountered before in more ancient digs. This type of foundation offering enabled the researchers to date the building to Canaanite Bronze Age and early Iron Age, and to the 10th century at the latest.

The researchers were aided by mole rats, burrowing rodents that live in the region. Archaeologists have little idea of what lays underground when they begin digging and many hours of meticulous work may be spent in a fruitless effort. By sifting through the earth brought to the surface by the burrowing rodents, archaeologists can glean clues about what lays below

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9156

Science confirms Genesis Flood account, again

Oceans of water found deep within mantle of planet

Published: 14 hours ago

WASHINGTON – For the first time, scientists have corroborated with direct evidence that the Earth has oceans of water deep within mantle by actually recovering some trapped inside diamonds.

While at least three recent studies have found evidence to support the theory, what few scientists are noting is that the discovery of actual droplets of the water hundreds of miles deep below the Earth’s surface corroborates what the Bible said in the Genesis Flood account, note Christians who have been following the latest research.

The latest study by University of Nevada Las Vegas geo-scientist Oliver Tschauner and his colleagues who found traces of water trapped within diamonds pushed up to the surface by intense pressure.

The discovery is being hailed by other scientists as groundbreaking and surprising.

The study, “Ice-VII inclusions in Diamonds: Evidence for Aqueous Fluid in Earth’s Deep Mantle,” was published Thursday in the journal Science.

While in the jewelry business, diamond with any impurities hold less value, for Tschauner and other scientists, this flaw may hold the key to understanding the inner workings of our planet.

Tschauner studied diamonds found in China, the Republic of South Africa and Botswana that surged up from inside Earth.

“This shows that this is a global phenomenon,” the professor said.

Scientists theorize the diamonds used in the study were born in the mantle under temperatures reaching more than 1,000-degrees Fahrenheit. The mantle – which makes up more than 80 percent of the Earth’s volume – is made of silicate minerals containing iron, aluminum, and calcium among others. Until relatively recently, scientists were skeptical that water could be found there.

“These discoveries are important in understanding that water-rich regions in the Earth’s interior can play a role in the global water budget and the movement of heat-generating radioactive elements,” Tschauner said.

This discovery can help scientists create new, more accurate models of what’s going on inside the Earth, specifically how and where heat is generated under the Earth’s crust. In other words: “It’s another piece of the puzzle in understanding how our planet works,” Tschauner said.

Interestingly, Tschauner and his colleagues weren’t looking for water. Like most scientists and climatologists today, they were looking for carbon dioxide – thought to be the culprit behind the theory of global climate change. They didn’t find any.

“We’re still looking for it, actually,” said Tschauner.

The presence of water in diamonds suggests there is water-rich fluid in the transition zone between the upper and lower mantle, and even into the top of the lower mantle.

“This is really the first time that we see water at such depths,” says Oded Navon, a mantle petrologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was not involved in the new study.

Other recent studies, beginning in 2014, based on wobbles in the Earth’s rotation and other phenomena, have postulated the amount of water inside the mantle could be as large or larger than all the water found in the oceans on the surface of the planet. Studies have indicated the fluid may influence all sorts of geological processes, including the grinding of tectonic plates, the formation of volcanoes and the movement of Earth’s elements.

Last June, for instance, researchers examining the rumbling of seismic waves and performing lab experiments that mimicked the crushing pressures and extreme temperatures of Earth’s mantle, made the argument that a huge amount of water resides within the planet. Those findings, conducted by Yale University geophysicist Jennifer Girard, who was not involved with this study, appeared in the June 13 issue of Science.

In January 2017, another study, conducted by Zdenek Futera of the University College Dublin in Ireland and published in Earth and Planetary Letters postulated the mantle was filled with fresh water exceeding the amount of saline fluid found in all the Earth’s oceans. That study suggested the novel idea that the Earth was actually manufacturing water.

There was another similar study in 2014 led by Graham Pearson, a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada. He now believes there is more water inside the planet than on the surface.

These theories, now backed up by the first physical evidence, hold some world-shaking ramifications:

  • That far from Earth having a limited amount of fresh water for its teeming population, there may be an unlimited amount deep in the mantle;
  • That scientists can divert some attention from the urgent race to discover of water on other planets;
  • That scientists might want to reconsider their skepticism of the biblical Great Flood account in Genesis 7:11, which said the waters broke through the surface of the Earth when “all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Most scientists discount the notion that the Earth was ever flooded, despite the fact that 71 percent of the surface is covered by water today.
  • That the Earth’s water came from extraterrestrial sources – namely comets and asteroids, a common theory until this burst of new evidence of abundant water inside the planet.

“It is ironic that secularist scientists are still seeking to explain where the Earth’s water came from,” Andrew Snelling, Ph.D geologist from Australia and director of research for Answers in Genesis, told WND. “For many years now, they have endeavored to fill in the difficult-to-explain pieces of their ‘story’ about how our home Earth ‘just happened’ to become so habitable for life over the course of its supposed billions-of-years history. Secularists believe the Earth condensed from clumpy matter flung out of the solar nebula 4.56 or so billion years ago. It was thus originally a hot, molten blob that cooled. They used to suggest that most of the water came from inside this cooling Earth, but not enough to fill the oceans we have on the Earth’s surface today. A once popular theory was that comets (which are essentially large, dirty snowballs) collided with the Earth and deposited their water on its surface.”

But that explanation could not possibly explain oceans of water deep beneath the surface of the planet. With the new evidence for just that, a new explanation was needed.

“Of course, these same secularists and Bible skeptics say, as predicted in 2 Peter 3:3-6, that there never was a global flood on the Earth, even though it is still 70 percent covered in water, which averages more than two miles deep,” writes Snelling. “But ironically, they also say that, due to the many evidences of massive water erosion on Mars, there was a watery flood ‘of Biblical proportions’ on that planet in the past, even though that planet’s surface is dry today!”

Snelling, too, sees the recent studies as evidence of the biblical Flood account.

“The Bible’s description of that outbursting event is merely confirmed by the latest findings of the secular scientists,” he writes. “So, the waters that came from inside the Earth, combined with the waters in the original, created oceans to produce the Genesis Flood.”

Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon and the author of the new book “God’s Day Timer,” called the earlier reports of the massive water supplies within the Earth “fantastic news.”

“Over and over again science is finally catching up to the Bible,” Biltz said. “The Bible says in the Book of Daniel that in the last days knowledge will be increased. Well, it seems the scientific community is waking up more and more to the truths of the Bible.”

He added: “The Bible is much like the ocean itself in that its depths are unsearchable and vastly unknown to man. In time, God has been revealing its hidden treasures for science to find. Long before, when scientists thought the world was flat or a cube held up elephants or turtles, the Bible declared in Job 26 that the Earth was just suspended in space and in Isaiah 40 that it was a sphere.”

Joseph Farah, founder of WND and author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” wrote about science’s evolving theories about water inside the Earth in that book and is revising and expanding his own observations for a future updated and expanded edition.

“Since massive amounts of water from inside the Earth were used by God to destroy the planet, and future biblical prophecies suggest ‘living waters’ from inside the Earth will restore the planet to its Garden of Eden-like beginning, what we are seeing in these new discoveries makes perfect sense,” he says. “In fact, I believe the ‘living waters’ we read about in the Bible are already present deep beneath the surface of the planet.”

Both Old Testament and New speak about something called “living waters.”

In Zechariah 14:8, a prophetic book it says: “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.” Farah says there is more detail on the flow of these living waters provided in Ezekiel 47 as waters rush out from under the threshold of the Temple in Jerusalem toward the east. This will not be trickle of water like we see today in the Jordan River. It will be river that cannot be passed over. It will run eastward and go down into the Judean desert and into the Dead Sea. “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh” (Ezekiel 47:9).

“While we know these ‘living waters’ are of God and could be produced entirely supernaturally, we also know that God uses what He has created in the natural world for His own purposes. Could it be these waters are just waiting to break forth on His timing?” Farah posits.

A Christian thought leader who has long used the “living waters” metaphor is author, filmmaker and apologist Ray Comfort. Comfort, founder of the Living Waters ministry, welcomed the news of water within the Earth as further support for his Christian position.

“It’s beneath the intellectual dignity of most people nowadays to believe in the biblical account of anything,” he told WND. “This is because God, in His great wisdom, chose foolish things to confound the wise. The Bible is filled with stories that are an insult to anyone who is proud of heart, and God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The door of salvation is deliberately set low.”

He adds: “However, there is a massive amount of evidence to prove a worldwide flood. The main one being that 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water. That’s the kind of ultimate ‘duh.’ Or, for want of a better analogy, they can’t (or won’t) see the forest for the trees.”

“In Ezekiel 47:8-12 it talks about how the waters shall bring healing to the whole area,” he says. “Very soon the future will be upon us and mankind will stand in awe as the Creator of the Universe reveals Himself as the Grand Scientist!”

Another Christian minister who said he was not surprised by how science is catching up to the Bible is Bill Cloud of Shoreshim Ministries, the author of “Esau Rising.”

“Obviously, as a believer, discoveries such as these don’t surprise me,” he told WND. “Not only does it confirm my faith in the Bible is well placed but it also reveals that God uses those who tend to doubt His existence to prove that He does exist! I believe this is connected to a principle found in Proverbs 25:2: ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; it is the honor of kings to search out the matter.’ In other words, sometimes God plays ‘hide and seek’ and those who investigating His creation are ‘it.’ If they keep searching, they are going to be continually stunned by what they find.”

He added: “In this case, that vast supplies of water are concealed beneath the earth’s mantle should come as no surprise to those who believe what the Bible has to say. Water covered the entire earth before God caused dry land to appear – that water had to go somewhere. The great flood was not brought about solely by rain falling from heaven but also because the ‘fountains of the great deep were broken up.’ When those waters abated, it is likely they returned to where they originated – deep within the Earth.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9077

Clay Seal of Isaiah Found But Mystery Remains

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 22, 2018 , 4:20 pm

“The prophecies of Yeshayahu son of Amotz, who prophesied concerning Yehuda and Yerushalayim in the reigns of Uzziyahu, Yotam, Achaz, and Chizkiyahu, kings of Yehuda.” Isaiah 1:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)

A prominent Israeli archaeologist announced this week her discovery of a clay seal bearing the Hebrew name of Isaiah which may very well have belonged to the Biblical prophet.

“We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist from Hebrew University, who made the discovery.

“The clay seal shows the lower part of a grazing doe, a motif of blessing and protection found in Judah, particularly in Jerusalem,” Dr. Mazar wrote in Biblical Archaeology on Wednesday.

Clay impression of Isaiah (Photo courtesy of Dr. Eilat Mazar)

It is unclear however, if the seal actually belonged to the prophet Isaiah because it remains uncertain that a letter may or may not be missing.

The [clay impression] reads ‘leyesha‘yah[u]’ in ancient Hebrew letters, which means ‘[belonging] to Isaiah’. The three Hebrew letters of nun, vav, and yud also appear. After the letter yud, the corner of the seal is broken off, raising the question if the three letters were also followed by a fourth letter, aleph completing the word, navi (prophet). Alternatively, the damaged space may very have been blank.

Without that missing corner confirming the existence or absence of the aleph, the bulla cannot be fully determined to have belonged to the Biblical prophet. If it can be authenticated, however, this will be the first time that an artifact directly connected to a Biblical prophet has been found.

The seal was discovered ten feet from where, in 2015, Dr. Mazar found another similar artifact that belonged to King Hezekiah who ruled over Judah from 727 BCE-698 BCE.

“The close relationship between the king and the prophet is well known,” Dr. Mazar told Breaking Israel News. “Finding a seal impression of the prophet Isaiah next to that of King Hezekiah should not be unexpected. It would not be the first time that seal impressions of two Biblical personas were discovered in close proximity.”

Dr. Mazar referred to two seal impressions belonging to Yehukhal ben Sheleḿiyahu ben Shovi and Gedaliyahu ben Pashḥur, both of whom were high officials in King Ẓedekiah’s court. Both seals were found just a few feet apart from each other, in the City of David in 2005. She noted that both were mentioned in the same Biblical verse.

Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedalia son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard what Yirmiyahu was saying to all the people. Jeremiah 38:1

The seal itself was not used by the common folk and therefore, symbolizes a person’s high stature in society.

“A seal is not an ordinary thing belonging to normal people,” Dr. Mazar explained. “Important people who need a seal had them to seal documents or to seal packages. No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah so it is an obvious assumption that he would have such a seal. If this seal did belong to him, it would indicate his high status.”

The reverse side of the seal shows the impression of woven cloth. Dr. Mazar suggested that the cloth may have been from a package the prophet was sending, marking it as his own. She suggested an intriguing and significant possibility of what that package may have been.

“This is reminiscent of the story of the Prophet Isaiah healing King Hezekiah with figs,” she elaborated, referring to one such Biblical account.

When Yeshayahu said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the rash, and he will recover.” Isaiah 38:21

“Perhaps he brought special figs intended for the king and put a seal so that no one would touch it,” Dr. Mazar suggested. “We don’t know but there are many possibilities.”

Remarkably, a fingerprint is visible on the clay, perhaps that Isaiah himself.

“If the owner of the seal was the Prophet Isaiah, we have here the fingerprint of the prophet,” Dr. Mazar said. “But we cannot be sure of this because of the missing Aleph.”

Even the few clues found on the tiny piece of clay give hints that must be considered. Dr. Mazar noted that most seals are identified by the name of the owner and the owner’s father, which in the case of the Prophet Isaiah would be ‘Isaiah the son of Amotz’.

“That is the normal style.  however there are cases of seals containing the name and the title,” she said, emphasizing that this also was not a definitive clue. “Navi without an ‘aleph’ could also mean ‘from the city of Nov,’ a Kohanic (priestly) city near Jerusalem mentioned often in the Bible.”

Thereupon the king sent for the KohenAchimelech son of Achituv and for all the Kohanim belonging to his father’s house at Nov. They all came to the king. I Samuel 22:11

One other objection to the possibility that this seal belonged to Isaiah the prophet is the lack of the letter hay as a definitive prefix. In the Bible, the word navi (prophet) is usually preceded by the definitive of hay, translating as “the prophet.” The letter Hay, however, does not appear on the clay impression as a prefix to the letters of nun, vav, bet and yud, indicating that the seal did not say, “the prophet.” Dr. Mazar acknowledged this as a potential sign that the seal impression may not be from Isaiah but also noted that many inscriptions in ancient Hebrew have been found without the prefix.

Although she is not religious, Dr. Mazar uses the Bible as a resource for her research.

“I look for the reality behind the stories since reality is clearly written there, but the bible has to be examined according to the archaeological proof,” she stressed. “I was educated in archaeology to relate to the Bible as a most important historical source, to examine it and re-examine it.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9050

Papyrus With Oldest-Known Hebrew Reference to Jerusalem Proves City Jewish 1,300 Years Before Birth of Islam

Feb 18, 2018 by Jews News in ISRAEL

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz

“At that time they shall call Yerushalayim the throne of Hashem; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Hashem, to Yerushalayim; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart.” Jeremiah 3:17 (The Israel Bible™)

A 2,700-year-old papyrus that is the oldest known non-Biblical Hebrew reference to Jerusalem has been found, announced the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on Wednesday. The papyrus, originally stolen by antiquities thieves, was put on display in Jerusalem on Wednesday, coinciding with the second UNESCO resolution attempting to deny Judaism’s connection to its most holy city – a connection this ancient artifact so graphically proves.

The two lines of writing on the tiny scrap of papyrus (4.3 inches by 1 inch) are surprisingly clear: “From the king’s maidservant, from Naharta, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.”

The scroll was originally plundered from a cave in Nahal Hever in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea by antiquities thieves. Professor Shmuel Ahituv of Ben-Gurion University studied the papyrus when it was first recovered. He spoke at the IAA press conference, noting that on the papyrus, the name of the city was spelled with a letter ‘yud’, as it is in modern Hebrew. Pronounced ‘Yerushalayim’, Ahituv noted that it is spelled this way only four times in the entire Bible.

Ahituv also noted that papyrus, made from the pith of the papyrus plant, was more expensive than the more common clay. The text specified a “female servant of the king” sending the wineskins to “Yerushalem”, suggesting the shipment was sent by a prominent woman to a person of high status in the capital.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9036

2,800 Year Old Prophecy Fulfilled As Bible Comes to Life in The City of David

By Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler February 1, 2018 , 2:30 pm

“[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people!” Isaiah 57:14 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)

What is so compelling about a video, originally produced this past summer by Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) and shared by the Israel Video Network earlier this month, that has been watched well over 800,000 times?

The 5-minute video is an interview conducted by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN, with AnaRina Heymann, Outreach Coordinator at the City of David in Jerusalem. Heymann explains that most of the Old City of Jerusalem is not in fact part of ancient Biblical Jerusalem.

“The only part of ancient Jerusalem that lies in the Old City is the Temple Mount. The walls of the Old City were built 450 years ago by Suleiman the Great. The walls of the City of David are more than 3,000 years old,” Heymann told Breaking Israel News.

The honor of being identified as ancient Biblical Jerusalem is given to the City of David, whose excavations are proving the Bible and fulfilling Biblical prophecy everyday.

“As we uncover the city, the archaeological finds provide unequivocal proof not only of the Jewish presence of more than 3,000 years in the land, but also the Biblical connection to Jerusalem, which UNESCO and the UN vehemently deny,” Heymann said.

Why is the exact location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem so important? Heymann asserts, “I believe that anyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible needs to know about the true location of the ancient Biblical Jerusalem. There is a massive realignment, cognitively and spiritually, happening as people are becoming more aware of this.”

In the video, Heymann shows Mitchell two especially powerful Bible-based sites.

First, at 1:47, Heymann says, “Most of the kings of Israel were anointed where we’re standing right now.” Elaborating for Breaking Israel News, she noted that “the anointing of the King of Israel had to take place at a live water source.”

“We know that this is the place where Solomon was anointed,” she continued. “In 1 Kings 1:33, David urged Bathsheba and Nathan to take Solomon to the Gihon Spring and anoint him there.”

The king said to them, “Take my loyal soldiers, and have my son Shlomo ride on my mule and bring him down to Gichon. 1 Kings 1:33

“Tradition also identifies this as the place where most of the kings from the line of Judah were anointed,” Heymann explained.

The second site has prophetic implications. At 2:40, Heymann introduces the excavations at the tunnel that lead from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount and connects them to a prophecy in the book of Isaiah.

This, according to Heymann, is the walk that pilgrims made when they visited the Temple Mount during the Biblical festivals. First, they immersed in the Pool of Siloam and then walked to the Temple Mount. All of this has been hidden for 2,000 years.

“After 2,000 years, the ancient city was rediscovered by Charles Warren in the year 1867. We are now opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount,” said Heymann. This excavation is fulfilling the exact words of Isaiah.

[The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles From the road of My people! Isaiah 57:14

Furthermore, Heymann sees an echo of this prophecy in today’s Jerusalem. “I also believe that, as we are opening up the ancient road between the Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount (the final ascent that every pilgrim had to walk), there is a strong parallel to how the modern highways to Jerusalem are opening up too.”

In fact, earlier this month, JNS reported that Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Transportation Minister, had announced that the new high speed train to Jerusalem will launch in time for Passover. “I made a promise, and I will fulfill it. This coming Pesach (Passover), we will allow all of Israel to come en masse to Jerusalem, via the express train from Tel Aviv,” he said. “We are connecting and strengthening our capital city of Jerusalem, and we are connecting to Jerusalem’s history.”

In addition, Heymann said that “the cable car line that will bring masses of people to the Kotel from different points in the city is now being developed.”

Heyman calls the site, “the spiritual nucleus; the touchdown of the End of Days prophecies” adding that “the Bible comes alive 360 degrees in the City of David.”

“Everyone passionate about Jerusalem and serious about the Bible has to reconnect with the true location of ancient Biblical Jerusalem,” she continued. “For all Bible believers, we are talking about the place where kings reigned, prophets walked and epic battles ensued.”

“People can now become a tangible part of prophecy by joining our efforts through the Jerusalem Watch project. Millions of people around the world feel a deep personal and spiritual connection to Jerusalem and are seeking a meaningful way to express their devotion and commitment,” Heymann added.

“In response to this, the Jerusalem Watch initiative offers those passionate about Jerusalem a tangible opportunity to connect by taking an active role in uncovering the glory and history of Biblical Jerusalem, literally becoming part of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9002

Is the Shroud of Turin Evidence of Jesus’ Existence?

Maybe the Turin Shroud is not real after all?

By Christian Evidence | Sat 20 Jan 2018 8:52 EST

Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” (Matthew 27:58-60)

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient, sepia-colored, rectangular, 14.3 x 3.7 foot linen cloth woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils with the front and the back image of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin on it. It is considered to be the linen cloth the dead Jesus was wrapped in after He was crucified. Some have concluded it is the true burial shroud of Jesus. Others have pronounced it a medieval forgery. In my opinion, the evidence completely disproves it being a medieval forgery…

  1. A set of tests conducted on the Shroud place the cloth to the time ranging from 300 B.C. to 400 A.D., well within the time of Jesus of Nazareth (Stanglin, USA Today, 2013).
  2. The bloodstains, as forensic scientists and chemists now know, were created by real blood, specificallyblood of a torture victim. In addition to that, an x-ray-taken showed excess iron in blood areas, as expected for blood. Microchemical tests for proteins were positive in blood areas but not in any other parts of the Shroud. Furthermore, claims are that the blood has been confirmed as authentic hemoglobin and identified as Type AB!
  3. Microscopic traces of the flowers, and pollen, has been found throughout the Turin Shroud. Out of hundreds of flowers on the Shroud,twenty-eight of them grow in Israel. Twenty grow in Jerusalem itself, and the other eight grow potentially within the close vicinity of Jerusalem (Whanger and Whanger, Duke.edu, 2015). Of these twenty-eight plants, twenty-seven of the identified plants are in bloom in March and April.

Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem during the Passover in the Spring of c. 30 AD. (Matthew 26:12; Mark 14:1; Luke 22:1,7: John 18:28) Half of the floral images and pollen grains from the plants are found only in the Middle East or other similar areas but never in Europe, the favored location of the forgery of the Shroud. Most of the flowers were clustered around the head and chest of the man on the Shroud – consistent with Jewish burial custom in Jesus’ time.The pollen also dates to the first-century, further indication that the Shroud was first found in first-century Israel. In addition, many grains of the pollen, Gundelia tournefortii, have been identified. This particular pollen has large thorns, blooms in Israel between March and May, and most of the grains of this pollen have been recovered near the man’s shoulder! Could it have been the crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29)?

“In addition to being unable to explain so many things about the Shroud of Turin, did it ever occur to modern skeptics that no medieval forger would have been able to forge pollen grains and floral images. Pollen grains are able to be seen only through a microscope. A medieval artist/forger did not even KNOW about individual GRAINS of pollen, could never ever have seen a microscopic grain of pollen—until the 1800’s AD.”—Sandra Sweeny Silver

  1. The image is not a stain, it is not painted on the Shroud, nor is it burned on. Instead, it is seared on to the cloth with a technology that has yet to be explained. Scientists can’t even reproduce it with modern technology, let alone medieval technology! Nothing existed in medieval or ancient times that could produce such an X-ray as this. The only explanation would be some sort of large burst of radiation, that was emitted as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, creating the image on the cloth. The process causing the yellowness of the top most fibers of the threads responsible for the image is also unknown.

Italian scientist Paolo DiLazzaro tried for five years to replicate the image and concluded that it was produced by ultraviolet light, but the ultraviolet light necessary to reproduce the image “exceeds the maximum power released by all ultraviolet light sources available today.” The time for such a burst “would be shorter than one forty-billionth of a second, and the intensity of the ultra violet light would have to be around several billion watts.”

  1. The image of the man on the Shroud can be read by 3D imaging technology, something that paintings can’t do. The image on the Shroud is also only a few fibers deep. The image on the Shroud is not a painting, and that’s a fact!
  2. The type of cloth is consistent with fabrics from first-century Israel, but not with medieval Europe. A forger would have had to not only forge the image, but would have had to have detailed knowledge of linen weaves of the first century and then not only reproduce it, but age it convincingly.
  3. Usually, whenever there’s a picture depicting the crucifixion of Jesus, it shows the nail prints in the palms of the hand. However, modern science has shown that a nail through the middle of the palm of a man’s hand would not be sufficient to hold most of the weight of a man on a cross. The nail would tear through the hand. The placement of the nails in crucifixion was most likely in the wrist.

The Turin Shroud shows the nail marks at the lower part of the hand into the wrist, just as expected! Also, experiments conducted on cadavers note that the Turin Shroud accurately depicts how crucifixions would have transpired. In addition, the whip markings on the man’s back match the ends of the flagrums used by the first-century Romans for scourgings, his body shows signs of rigor mortis in a crucified position, some of his blood flows are post mortem, and it even shows marks indicating a spear wound – consistent with John 19:34. It matches the details of Jesus’ crucifixion accurately!

The evidence seems highly probable that the Turin Shroud is genuinely the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth before His amazing resurrection from the dead. However, we do not need to rely solely on the Shroud of Turin to provide evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, since the evidence from both Christian and non-Christian sources alone are enough to verify the reliability of the crucifixion and resurrection account. See: Historical Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8994

Mystery of 24 black-boxes discovered near Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza

THEY weigh more than 100 tons, they are solid Aswan granite, and they are precision engineered to tolerances which would be deemed remarkable even today.

By Paul Baldwin

PUBLISHED: 07:32, Sat, Jan 13, 2018 | UPDATED: 08:14, Sat, Jan 13, 2018 Mysterious black boxes found in Egypt

So how did the ancient Egyptians build and put in place the 24 strange and sinister coffin shaped black boxes discovered buried in a hillside cave system, 12 miles south of The Great Pyramid of Giza?

And more importantly, why?

The skilfulness of the stone cutting, accurate to just a few microns, is so remarkable that some experts have concluded that they were not built for Egytian pharaos but in fact left on earth by and alien race and simply appropriated by the kings.

 

GETTY

The tombs are believed to be the burial places of Apis bulls, worshipped as deities in Ancient Egypt

The stark black boxes do display some hieroglyphics but they are of such poor quality that the scribbles are regarded as graffiti.

The real purpose and function of the boxes remains unclear, but the were clearly of importance, as they were cut with such precision they would remain airtight for many millennia.

They are known as the Serapeum of Saqqara in the now abandoned city of Memphis, Egypt.

In Egyptology a serapeum is a temple or other religious institution dedicated to the syncretic Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis, who combined aspects of Osiris and Apis in a humanized form.

Serapis was recognised across the Mediterranean region and emerges in both Greek and Gnosyic religions – usually in the guise of a man with a three-headed dog on a chain.

GETTY

It remains a mystery how the ancient culture were able to carve such huge and accurate sarcophagi

The formal burial site is believed to have been built sometime 3300 years ago by Ramesses II.

Recent research suggests it was a burial place of Apis bulls, which were worshipped as incarnations of the god Ptah.

Egyptologists say that because the bulls were honoured as gods Khaemweset, a son of Ramesses II ordered that a tunnel be excavated through one of the mountains at the site and designed with side chambers to contain large granite sarcophagi weighing up to 100 tons each, to hold the mummified remains of the bulls.

Theories about the pyramids that could prove advanced ancient technology

Fri, January 12, 2018

The ancient pyramids of Giza have wowed mankind for centuries, these are the theories the pyramids of Giza could prove that advanced ancient technology existed

EPA

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Researchers discovered a ‘big void’ in the Pyramid by observation of cosmic-ray muons, that are only partially absorbed by stone, an empty space of at least 30 meters long that could be a possible hidden chamber

The temple was discovered by Auguste Mariette, who had gone to Egypt to collect coptic manuscripts, but later grew interested in the remains of the Saqqara necropolis.

In 1850, Mariette found the head of one sphinx sticking out of the shifting desert sand dunes, cleared the sand and followed the boulevard to the site.

After using explosives to clear rocks blocking the entrance to the catacomb, he excavated most of the complex.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8965